The Boyertown High girls’ basketball team is off to an excellent start, sporting a record of 8-2 overall and 2-2 in the PAC-10. However, Mother Nature hasn’t been too kind to Coach Jason Bieber, with his team playing one game a week so far in the new year. That means where will be a lot of make up games. At one point, the Lady Bears will play six games in a span of eight days.
“I think we have the ability to do that,” said Bieber. “Dee (Terry) and Marie (Valenti) are great senior leader. Abby (Kapp) is having a great year. We’re playing 10 or 11 girls every game and other people are stepping up.”
This is a deep team. Bieber has no fears about going to his bench. Jordan Webb has contributed by playing solid defense in games,. while sophomore Taylor Landis has led the team in scoring. Maria Garofolo and Ali Bauman are both playing well this year, while (Terry) and (Kapp) are playing consistently well.
Kapp is a freshman who has picked up the speed of the varsity game quite well.
“She’s a great kid, and she’s fundamentally sound,” said Bieber. “She’s a competitor, she listens and she absorbs everything you ask her to do. She’s really a very coachable kid and that’s helped her with the transition.”
Kapp is second on the team in scoring this season, averaging 8.9 points a game. This is not a surprise to Coach Bieber, who thinks she can score an average of 10 to 15 points a game, and get anywhere between seven and ten rebounds a game. According to Bieber, she had a really nice summer playing with the varsity kids. The highlight of her summer was being named to the all-tournament team at the Stellar Tournament in Allentownr.
Senior Dee Terry is happy to see the younger players stepping up, and notes how well they’re doing so far this season. She knows that they make mistakes on the court, but it’s only because they are young and don’t have the varsity experience. She feels that by the time they are juniors, they’re going to be an amazing team.
Bieber feels that the freshmen class in general is a very strong group. Allison Marcus has seen playing time at the guard position. You put the freshmen class along side this year’s sophomore class and you see a lot of potential. Of the 21 players on the roster, 15 of them are either sophomores or freshmen.
Bieber believes he has a very athletic team and feels that there aren’t too many teams that will be able to match their speed. He also likes the way they play as a team. He doesn’t have a player that’s looking to score every time. They are very unselfish players.
“This year’s team is quicker and more athletic than last year’s team,” said Bieber. “We’re utilizing that. We have a player like Maria Garofolo, who is 6’-1” and can play someone’s point guard. That causes some serious issues for the other team.”
The expectations don’t change for the girls’ basketball program. They set very high standards for themselves. They want to make it to the PAC-10 Final Four, then qualify for the district and state playoffs. He feels that those goals are still in sight. The loss to Methacton put them in a hole, but Methacton lost last week. So now the Lady Bears control their own destiny.
“We have to beat them and we should make it in,” said Bieber.
“It set us back (the loss to Methacton), but in a way it helped us realize that we need to step up and play like an average team if we want to make it,” said Terry. “It was upsetting, but it pushed us to do better.”
Terry and her teammates know that the expectations are very high for this team because of the success the Lady Bears have enjoyed over the past few year. Nobody on the team is shying away from the pressure.
“We take it one step at a time,” said Terry. “Our coaches do a good job preparing us for all that stuff. Right now, we’re focusing on the games that are coming up.”
The team is very young, and Bieber would like to have them get more reps in practice, but playing one game a week isn’t helping the team get into a rhythm or the flow of a game. There have been so many weather postponements that it’s becoming a problem. Now, after several weeks of very few games, they will play four or five games a week due to all of the make-up games.
“Hopefully the team is ready for it,” said Terry. “We only have one day of practice on Thursday (of this week). We’ve had so many games cancelled so I just hope that we’re ready for it. I hope that we’re mentally focused, but physically, we should be okay.”
“The schedule is what the schedule is, and you can’t control the weather,” said Bieber. “You can’t look through any of the games as you’re progressing through. You have to be wary about players getting tired, and because their tired, they get hurt.”
Injuries during a stretch like this is a major concern. The team has been very healthy so far, but that can always change quickly. Bieber feels that they are deep enough to overcome some injuries, but there are only so many any team can withstand before it shows in the win, loss columns.
“I expect us to have no more than three losses in the league, and we already have two,” said Bieber. “We need to play well. If you don’t show up, you’re going to lose. We almost lost to Upper Perk, and Phoenixville knocked off Owen J. Roberts last Monday If you’re not ready to play, they can knock you off.”
Phil Haddad is a free lance writer for the Times. You can follow him on twitter @writersprtsBT